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In-Person Visitas Set to Return After Two-Year Hiatus

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After welcoming the past two undergraduate classes to Harvard virtually, the College will greet admitted students in the Class of 2026 during the first in-person Visitas weekend since 2019, set to begin Sunday.

Visitas, an annual program bringing admitted students to the College’s campus for a weekend, was held online for the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2025. Its return this year comes in light of loosened Covid-19 protocols, including the end of Harvard's indoor mask mandate in March.

Though previous iterations of Visitas spanned a whole weekend, this year’s program will take place during just two days — from Sunday, April 24, to Monday, April 25.

“We’re very pleased to be back in person,” Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 said in an interview last month. “Things are opening up, and that’s terrific.”

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Still, Fitzsimmons said the College will hold information sessions via Zoom for admitted students unable to attend Visitas in person.

Prospective freshmen coming to Cambridge this weekend are subject to some Covid-19 protocols, College spokesperson Rachael Dane wrote in an email. They must present proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test result prior to their arrival and take all dining hall meals to go. Dane added that the College is mailing all U.S.-based admitted students rapid tests.

While student programming at Visitas will happen on campus this year, the College will continue to host virtual-only events for family members and guardians.

At Visitas, admitted students can opt to stay overnight with a current undergraduate. College students who host will also need to test negative for Covid-19 prior to being matched with a prefrosh, Dane wrote.

The College will notify eligible hosts who have been paired with a prefrosh on Saturday, according to an email the school sent to prospective hosts Thursday morning.

Jay P. Garg ’23-’24, who signed up to host for Visitas this year, said he had a “wonderful time” attending Harvard’s last in-person Visitas as an admitted student in 2019.

“It really is a huge part of the reason that I’m going to school here today,” he said. “It also is how I met some of my good friends and one of my current roommates.”

“Allowing others to have that experience is definitely worth it,” he added.

Prospective students arriving to campus can look forward to extracurricular and academic fairs, along with the opportunity to sit in on Monday classes. Several faculty members will also host a panel called ‘Visitas Thinks Big!’ to discuss their ongoing research.

—Staff writer Rahem D. Hamid can be reached at rahem.hamid@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Nia L. Orakwue can be reached at nia.orakwue@thecrimson.com.

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